Thursday, May 7, 2020

[Kit Insight] Bandai 30MM 1/144 bEXM-15 Portanova Marine Type (Purple) - Straight Build

Model Number: bEXM-15
Designation: Bryon Army Mass Production 3rd Generation Underwater Specification EXAMAC System

#CircuitBreakerBacklogChallenge Build #11 - a Portanova that looks really good even without a single drop of paint, a testament to the fantastic design and engineering of the whole 30MM series.

An EXAMAC dedicated to underwater warfare, the Marine Type variant of the Bryon Army workhorse features a host of specialised equipment to fulfill its niche role. Large sections of the modular Portanova were swapped out for seafaring versions, including a large turboprop backpack, smaller propulsion units on the front skirting armour as well as propeller-equipped clawed feet in lieu of the regular types. The equipment work together to create a highly effective underwater combatant that threatened the Earth Federation Navy and seaborne supply lines.

To keep the machine's overall weight down in order to maintain its mobility under the crushing depths, the Marine Type was only equipped with the bare minimum of armament: a long grappling claw installed to the left arm and a mini-torpedo  launcher mounted on the right arm. While seemingly simple, the Marine Type's underwater mobility allowed it to deliver lethal blows to Earth Federation shipping with just the long claw; the torpedoes were used more for self-defense as their damage output wasn't high and couldn't penetrate ship plating. Marine Types regularly gouged gaping holes into Earth Federation ship and submarine hulls, letting the unforgiving ocean handle the bulk of their dirty work. The long claw was also useful for anti-EXAMAC combat.

The Earth Federation, with no answer to the Marine Type scourge, hastily deployed regular Altos equipped with sonic knives to repel Marine Types whenever one was detected on sonar. The hapless Altos, with no underwater combat equipment to speak of, became easy prey for the Marine Type, which picked them off like sea fodder with near impunity.

The only fighting chance the Altos had was when they were caught in the Marine Type's long claw, giving them an opportunity to (futilely) graze the Portanova's thick armour with the sonic knife.


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